TRAILER PARK: Bridesmaids, Win Win, X-Men: First Class
By R. Kurt Osenlund, The Good Life film critic
The latest Judd Apatow-produced romp promises to be a female answer to "The Hangover," with a raunchy bachelorette party that unfolds in va-va-va-Vegas. The biggest draw here is of course the cast, which is led by awkward-deadpan queen Kristen Wiig, and also features Rose Byrne, Maya Rudolph, Wendi McLendon-Covey ("Reno 911!"), Ellie Kemper ("The Office") and Melissa McCarthy ("Mike and Molly"). Wiig's reaction shots in the trailer are as priceless as ever, but much of this looks like the same old broad drivel, and it hardly seems like the treat that female comedy fans have been waiting for. Movies aren't often well-represented by their previews; let's hope this one has something else tucked under its pink ruffles.
I'm so terribly smitten with the work of writer/director Tom McCarthy ("The Station Agent," "The Visitor"), that I'd get in line for his latest, "Win Win," sight unseen. I'm pleased to say that the film's trailer, though clearly made conventionally so as to pull in the largest possible audience, only strengthens my anticipation. McCarthy has again assembled an ace cast, with Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Melanie Lynskey and "Station" star Bobby Cannavale in this story of a broody attorney and part-time wrestling coach (Giamatti) who discovers and mentors a star athlete. Looks to be a toned-down sports movie with an indie slant, built up by McCarthy's ever-sharp human observations.
X-MEN: FIRST CLASS
Speaking of being smitten, I'm a bona-fide X-geek and have been since childhood, so any X-movie reels me in no matter how badly burned I've been by the franchise's lousy installments.This prequel from director Matthew Vaughn ("Kick-Ass") and producer/story developer Bryan Singer ("X-Men," "X2") looks primed to reinvogorate the X-universe on screen, returning it to a level of plausible, worldly authenticity, and bringing in the talented likes of actors James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence (to name a few) as younger versions of Professor X, Magneto and Mystique, respectively. This is definitely one of the more promising summer releases, even if its villains, Emma Frost (January Jones) and Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon) seem a little snooze-worthy.